Helena gave the photographer a piercing glare. “I am sorry, but I don’t do commercial shots. I AM Helena of Troy. I am the face that lauched one thousand ships into battle. I am the face that turned brother against brother. I am the face—‘
“Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard your spiel three hundred and forty five thousand billion times already. As far as I’m concerened, all that past life stuff is blah blah blah. You, my pretty face, are the face of Classic Coca-Cola. That is all I’m concerned about.”
Her face flushed with anger. “You are an ignorant—”
He snorted. “You think I haven’t heard that insult before. Come on, lady. I’ve heard them all. I am a photographer. Besides all that, I’m not asking you to do anything lewd. I just need you to hold the bottle—” He adjusted her fingers around the plastic bottle. “—-like…this. Good. Now, all you have to do is look at the camera. Give me your best look. Yes. Yes! That’s good. That’s perfect. Now, smile. No, wait. Don’t smile. Give me smolder. Ehhh, too much smolder. Okay, seduce me. Give me that pretty face. Come on. Come on! Yes! Fabulous! Perfect! Love it! Love it! Yes! Perfect! Love you, baby!”
“And now. I’m done.”
“Huh? I’m sure I can get fifty more—”
“I said. I’m done.” Helena went behind the dressing screen and changed out of the fussy cardigan, Victorian lace shirt, and black poodle skirt. She put her own clothes on: a black cowl neck sweater, white leggings, and black high heels.
She sauntered around the other side of the screen and tossed the plastic Coke bottle at the photographer. “Have a lovely day.”
Helena of Troy put on her sunglasses and left the set to get herself a grande Americano from Starbucks.
The photographer uploaded the roll of pictures onto his work computer. He clicked through the pictures, choosing the best ones for the assignment.
Half-way through, he got lost in her beauty.
Her green-blue eyes stared at him. Their expression…so calm. Serene. Secretive. Seductive.
I want her to whisper her secrets to me.
His gaze moved to her soft lips. They were set in a Mona Lisa non-smile.
Her red-gold hair was designed to be touched.
Her skin…to be caressed.
His gaze moved further down.
I want her to come home to…to…
His gaze halted at her beautiful hands. A small detail knocked him clean out of his admiration society tour. He quickly flicked through the other pictures.
He swore volumes of curse words.
It was the same in every picture: her fingers covered the brand name on the plastic bottle.
He would have to trash the whole lot and start all over again.
And she was already gone.